Alvernia's commencement is Saturday, May 11, 2024. See below for the schedule of recognition ceremonies:
 

Friday, May 10

  • Nursing Pinning: 10:30 a.m., Francis Hall Theater
  • Occupational Therapy Pinning: 2 p.m., Francis Hall Theater
  • Senior Athlete Award Reception: 3:30 p.m., Physical Education Center (PEC)
  • Honors Convocation: 7 p.m., Physical Education Center (PEC)


Saturday, May 11

  • Baccalaureate: 9 a.m., Sacred Heart Chapel
  • Commencement Ceremony: 1 p.m., Santander Arena. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Procession begins at 12:45 p.m.

 

 

General Information FAQs

When is the Baccalaureate Mass?

A Baccalaureate Mass will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2024, at 9 a.m. in Sacred Heart Chapel. Students will need to RSVP by Friday, May 3, and should use the link they will receive by email closer to the event. Please check back shortly for directions on how to RSVP. The Mass will be live-streamed.

What should I know if I am attending Baccalaureate in person?
  • Those participating in the academic procession should arrive at 8:30 a.m.
  • Students should bring their black robe and hood over their arm, as they will be hooded at the ceremony, no mortarboard (hat).
  • All participants must arrive and be seated by 8:45 a.m.
  • Liturgical Ministers gather in Sacristy at 8:45 a.m. to be ready for the procession.
  • Enter into main CHURCH entrance, behind the Golden Jesus at the Motherhouse (this is at the top of Bernardine Street).
  • Participants can park in lots A, B, and D.
  • To allow for maximum family participation, students are limited to two guests each. Inquiries should be sent to Abby Canela, Director of Mission and Ministry, at abby.canela@alvernia.edu.
  • You do not have to be Catholic to attend the Baccalaureate Mass.
When and where is the Alvernia commencement ceremony?

Commencement is Saturday, May 11, 2024. The Commencement ceremony will be held at Santander Arena, 700 Penn St., Reading, PA.

  • Doors will open for guests at 11:30 a.m. The procession will begin at 12:45 p.m., and the ceremony will begin at 1 p.m.
  • Students should refer to the “FAQ for Students” section below regarding arrival details and line-up times.
How many tickets will graduates receive for guests?

Each graduate will receive up to 10 guest tickets for the ceremony at Santander Arena. Should there be extra tickets after graduates have claimed their tickets, additional tickets may be available based on the number of requests. Additional information will be posted as it becomes available.

Any family or friends who do not have a ticket or would like to view the commencement ceremony from afar can do so through the live webcast found on this page the day of the ceremony.

How do graduates receive their commencement guest tickets?

Students will claim their guest tickets virtually. Please check back shortly for more information regarding when and how tickets can be available.

Each graduate will receive up to 10 guest tickets for the ceremony at Santander Arena.

Will the ceremony be live-streamed?

The ceremony will be live-streamed so that friends and family who are not in attendance can watch and celebrate. The live stream link will be posted here closer to the ceremony.

Who is the commencement speaker for the ceremonies?

Please check back shortly for more details regarding the 2024 Commencement Speaker.

Where should graduates and guests park?

Please check back shortly for more information regarding parking locations designated for Alvernia’s Commencement.

What are some hotels in the area?

See the hotel information at the bottom of this page.

What are some restaurants in the area?

Check out our Discover Greater Reading page for a list of restaurants in the area.


FAQs for Graduates

Must graduates RSVP for the commencement ceremony?

Yes, all graduates must RSVP to the commencement ceremony no later than Friday, April 12. It is important for students to tell us if they will or will not attend the ceremony.

Please check back shortly for more information regarding when and how to R.S.V.P.

What time should graduates arrive for Commencement?
  • Graduates should arrive at Santander Arena between 11 and 11:45 a.m. to check in and line up for the commencement procession.
  • The procession will begin at 12:45 p.m., and the ceremony will begin at 1 p.m.
  • Please check back shortly for detailed graduate check-in and line-up location and information.
  • It is recommended that graduates attend one of the virtual commencement rehearsals, so they have all the information to be prepared for commencement.
  • Be sure to bring your academic attire. Gowns should be taken out of the bag and pressed ahead of time.
Will there be a commencement rehearsal?

There will be an online virtual rehearsal for graduates during the week of Commencement offered at two different times: Monday, May 6, at 6 p.m. or Tuesday, May 7, at 5 p.m. Zoom links will be emailed to students the week before.

How do graduates receive their cap and gown?

Graduates receiving their associate, bachelor's and master's degrees can preorder their cap and gown through the Herff Jones website until Friday, March 8. Graduates receiving their doctoral degrees should reach out to Kelly Coblentz at kelly.coblentz@alvernia.edu with your name, height and weight so we can order your rental regalia. Please do so by March 8.

All pre-orders will be available for pick up during Grad Finale. Should you miss the preorder deadline, all regular and XL sizes will be available at Grad Finale.

If you have questions about your cap and gown, please contact Kelly Coblentz.

Grad Finale dates:

  • Reading and Philadelphia graduates: Wednesday, April 24, anytime between 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Student Center Seminar Rooms on the Reading campus. The seminar rooms are on the second floor of the Student Center.
  • Pottsville CollegeTowne: Thursday, May 2, from 4 to 6 p.m.
Do I have to pay for my cap and gown?

There is a mandatory fee for all graduating students completing an associate, undergraduate, graduate or doctoral degree. It covers the administrative costs, as well as the commencement ceremony (participating or not), cap/gown, Latin Honor cord (if applicable), Honors Program graduate cord (if applicable), and diploma.

What are affinity stoles?

These Alvernia Red stoles, worn by undergraduates and five-year master program students, recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of the graduate. The attached pins represent the clubs and services students participated in during their time with the university. The stoles also provide an opportunity for graduates to honor those who helped them achieve their milestones by writing names on the inside of the stole. During this time of reflection and new beginnings, students can keep the stoles or present them to a family member or friend who has supported their scholarly pursuits.

Affinity stoles will be distributed at Grad Finale with the student’s cap and gown.

I'm not planning to attend the ceremony. Do I have to pay a commencement fee?

Yes. There is a mandatory fee for all graduating students completing an associate, undergraduate, graduate or doctoral degree. It covers the administrative costs as well as the commencement ceremony (participating or not), cap/gown, Latin Honor cord (if applicable), Honors Program graduate cord (if applicable), diploma and first transcript.

How do graduates receive any cords they have earned?

Latin Honors status is based on cumulative grade point average at the end of MOD 3 for undergraduate students only and with the 5 year-MSOT and 5 year-MSAT at their bachelor level completion.

  • 3.50-3.69: cum laude
  • 3.70-3.89: magna cum laude
  • 3.90-4.0: summa cum laude

Latin honor cords will be presented at Honors Convocation. The cords will be available at Grad Finale, before and after Honors Convocation, and at registration on Commencement day. Latin Honors students will be recognized for their academic accomplishments at Honors Convocation.

Students graduating from the Honors Program will also be presented with cords at Honors Convocation.

Cords/pins/medals from an academic Honor Society or non-academic club and or service: Advisors will reach out to discuss how you will receive them.

What is Honors Convocation?

Honors Convocation is an annual celebration where students are recognized for their distinguished academic achievements. It is one of the university’s most important academic traditions.

Honors Convocation will be held on Friday, May 10, 2024, at 7 p.m. in the Physical Education Center (PEC). Students will receive notification via their Alvernia email account if they will be receiving an award or cord at Honors Convocation.

How do graduates get their commencement guest tickets?

Students will claim their guest tickets virtually. Please check back shortly for more information regarding when and how tickets can be available.

Each graduate will receive up to 10 guest tickets for the Commencement Ceremony at Santander Arena.

When do graduates receive their diplomas?

Graduates do not receive their actual diplomas at the commencement ceremony. Diploma processing typically takes about 8-10 weeks after completion of your degree requirements. Graduates will be notified by email when their diploma is available. All outstanding obligations, financial or other, to the university must be cleared before the diplomas will be made available.

What should graduates know about how to wear academic attire?

Gowns should be taken out of the bags and pressed before the ceremony. Appropriate dress attire is requested to be worn under gowns, and sensible shoes are recommended.

For Commencement, students should wear their cap, gown, hood and any awarded cords/stoles. Tassels should be placed on the right side of your cap.

What is the graduation survey?

Each graduate will be asked to complete an online survey. The information will be emailed to you from the Office of Institutional Research. Please complete the survey before the Commencement Ceremony.

What are any additional tips for graduates?
  • It is recommended that all personal items are left with family members during the Commencement ceremony.
  • We recommend that students eat and drink before Commencement.
  • Appropriate footwear is highly recommended for graduates.


FAQs for Guests

How can I purchase a gift for my graduate?

Flowers, cookies, stuffed Golden Wolves and custom Alvernia University Alumni mugs will all be available. Orders can be placed online starting Friday, Feb. 23 and can be picked up on the day of commencement in the lobby of Santander Arena.

Please check back on Feb. 23 for the link to order your graduate a gift.

Who will need a ticket to attend the ceremonies as a guest?

Everyone above the age of 3 will be required to have a ticket for entry into the ceremonies. Children under the age of 3 must be accompanied by an adult and sit on the lap of that adult.

When can guests enter the arena?

Doors open for guests one and a half hours prior to the start of the commencement ceremony processional. For the 1 p.m. ceremony, guests may enter the arena starting at 11:30 a.m., with the procession starting at 12:45 p.m. All guests must present a ticket at the entrance.

Will there be accessible seating at Santander Arena?

There is no reserved seating, so if your party needs to be seated in a specific area, please arrive as close to the opening as possible.

  • Wheelchair accessible seating is available starting in section 107. Should section 107 become full, additional handicap-accessible seating is available on the suite level starting in section 108, then section 109, followed by section 110.
  • Limited stair access seating is available at each arena section entrance. Sections 106, 107 and 108 offer seating that doesn’t require stair usage.
  • Elevators are available to assist in transportation to these sections located in the main lobby.
  • Please note, it is recommended that guests needing mobility devices and wheelchairs should bring them from home.
Will food or drinks be available to guests?

Outside food and beverages are not permitted. There will be concessions stands with drinks and snacks. Please note that Santander Arena is cashless. They do accept all major credit/debit cards and Apple Pay.

Are balloons and noisemakers permitted at Commencement?

Air horns and balloons are not permitted in the arena. Any balloons brought will need to be left outside and air horns/noisemakers discarded in the trash.

We ask that everyone please be respectful of other graduates and their families during the ceremony as everyone would like to hear their graduate’s name be announced.

 

Hotel Information

Alvernia University has partnerships with the following hotels:
 

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Reading

701 Penn St., Reading, PA 19601

Hampton Inn Reading/Wyomissing

1800 Papermill Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610

Homewood Suites by Hilton Reading

2801 Papermill Road, Reading, PA 19610

Best Western Plus Reading Inn & Suites

2299 Lancaster Pike, Shillington, PA 19607

Courtyard by Marriott Reading/Wyomissing

150 N. Park Road, Reading, PA 19610

The Gables at Stirling Guest Hotel

1120 Centre Ave., Reading, PA 19601

Candlewood Suites Reading

55 S. Third Ave., Reading, PA 19611

 

2023 Commencement Recap

Alvernia celebrated more than 600 students in the Class of 2023 with a pair of commencement ceremonies in front of family and friends at the university’s stadium on May 13. Individual pictures were taken at the ceremonies by Grad Images. Students and family can view the pictures on gradimages.com and purchase directly through the website. If you have any questions, contact them at 800-261-2576.


Additional photos of the morning ceremonythe afternoon ceremony and the Baccalaureate Mass are available on SmugMug. All of the ceremonies can be watched back as well: Baccalaureate MassMorning CeremonyAfternoon Ceremony.

Registrar